Showing posts with label vampire. Show all posts
Showing posts with label vampire. Show all posts

Wednesday, January 24, 2024

Character Creation Challenge: Darlessa for Wasted Lands

I meant to do this character earlier and kinda forgot. Well, today is the day I fix that. When it comes right down to it, no character really represents my shift from D&D to Wasted Lands quite as well as Darlessa the Vampire Queen.

Of course, everyone here knows Darlessa. She has been featured here many times and I already did her witch stats for Swords & Wizardry and her vampire stats for Basic-era D&D. She is also the central antagonist of my Dungeon23 Tomb of the Vampire Queen. She is responsible for the death of my first character, Johan, and ultimately, the cause for him to be elevated to a Saint. She even has (or had) her own Dark Domain, Arevenir.

Darlessa the Vampire Queen character sheets

I am using the Night Companion again for her so I can get the rules for making her a vampire. She has always been a witch, but a good case could be made for her to be a Spirit Rider, too. Maybe I'll give her a level in that later on, but today, I wanted to compare apples to apples: my OSR witches vs a NIGHT SHIFT witch.

Darlessa the Vampire Queen
Darlessa, the Vampire Queen

Class: Witch (Persona)
Level: 13
Species: Human Vampire
Alignment: Dark Evil
Background: Sorcerous

Strength: 18 (+3) (+2 from Vampire)
Agility: 18 (+3) (+2 from Vampire)
Toughness: 18 (+3) 
Intelligence: 15 (+1) N
Wits: 14 (+1) N
Persona: 22 (+5) A

Fate Points: 1d10
Defense Value: -5
Vitality: 75
Degeneracy: 0
Corruption: 0

Check Bonus (A/N/D): +6/+4/+2
Melee Bonus: +2 (base) +2 (touchstones) 
Ranged Bonus: +2 (base) +1 (touchstones)
Spell Attack: +7 (witch) +1 (touchstones)
Saves: +7 to Spells and Magical effects (Sorcerer & Scholar), +3 to Wits (vampire) +1 to All (touchstones)

Witch Abilities
Arcana, Arcane Powers (5): Succubus (6d6), Shadow Walking, Telekinesis, Beguile, Subtle Influence

Sorceress Spells
First Level: Arcane Darts, Black Flames, Chill Ray, Glamour, Object Reading, Armor of Earth
Second Level: Conjure Flame, ESP, Invoke Fear, See Invisible
Third Level: Clairvoyance, Create Zombies & Skeletons, Curse, Fly
Fourth Level: All-Seeing Invisible Eye, Black Tentacles, Improved Invisibility, Kiss of the Succubus
Fifth Level: Commune with Deeper Dark, Create Undead, Shadow Armor
Sixth Level: Instant Death, Zone of Death
Seventh Level: Wave of Mutilation

Heroic/Divine Touchstones 
1st Level: Additional Spell: Armor of Earth
2nd Level: +1 to Melee attacks
3rd Level: Spirit Guide: Undead Raven, "Lucifer"
4th Level: Favored Enemy: Lawful (Light) Good Clerics
5th Level: +1 to all attack rolls, defense rolls, spells, and saves
6th Level: Glamour at Will

Heroic (Divine) Archetype: Power


Wasted Lands Vampires

Ok! This Darlessa is much more powerful than previous versions. This is due largely to proper rules on how to make a character a vampire and how that adds to the character's power. But also Witches in NIGHT SHIFT and the Wasted Lands are a bit more powerful. Lets not forget those divine/heroic touchstones. Those add a LOT of power to the character. This is a version of Darlessa that should properly terrify a group of characters. 

Vampires in the Wasted Lands are also more akin to Akivasha of Robert E. Howard's tale The Hour of the Dragon than they are of Stoker's Dracula. Indeed, Darlessa is cut from the same cloth as Akivasha. Well same cloth, but dyed in the same dyes as various Hammer Horror vampires. 

But in native Wasted Lands, the world envisioned by Elf Lair Games' Jason Vey, vampires are more dangerous and closely tied to the powers of the Deeper Dark. This works fine for me since I have always seen Darlessa as shedding bits of her soul for power to whatever demon would grant it to her. Now, for a pure Wasted Lands game and for the publication of the Tomb of the Vampire Queen, I might go with a different name and slightly changed background. But it will be Darlessa all the same really. 

You can get the Wasted Lands RPG and the NIGHT SHIFT RPG at Elf Lair Games.

Character Creation Challenge

Tuesday, January 23, 2024

Mail Call: ¡Anuncio por correo! Spanish BECMI and Pacesetter Adventures

Or at least the BE part of BECMI.  So many of you know I have been learning Spanish. I mainly use Duolingo, but I also print books and audiobooks from Audible. My progress is quite slow I will admit, but the journey is half the fun really. 

Back in 2023, I got copies of the Spanish Language D&D 5th edition books for my birthday and Father's Day.  But something I have wanted since 2020 are copies of BECMI in another language. I thought I might grab one in German (a language I can still -somewhat- speak) but they are always quite expensive.

So imagine my surprise when, after posting my search for Spanish language ones, actually came through!

Spanish Language Basic and Expert

They look great, even if I can only sort of read them at the moment. But I know what is in these quite well, so that helps.

Spanish Language Basic and Expert

Versions of BECMI Basic

It is also fun to compare them to the Spanish D&D 5e books I got last year.

Spanish Language D&D

I am NO WHERE near ready to run a game in Spanish D&D. But maybe I could play one later this year.

I might just stick with Basic and Expert. I have not seen a Companion edition out for a very long time. If the price of the German one I was looking at is any indication then it is way outside of my price range.

I also got copies of some adventures (in English) from Pacesetter Games.

Adventures from Pacesetter Games

I gave Venger's Final Wish to my oldest. He is working on taking his group through all the editions of D&D.  More on that later.

Of course, I am a sucker for anything about the Vampire Queen. So this is a nice addition to my collection.  Since the Vampire Queen adventure is for B/X then maybe a "Castillo de la Reina Vampiro" is in order. 

Monday, October 30, 2023

Monstrous Mondays: D&DGII Draugr

I am surprised I have not tried to stat these guys up before this. But this seems the perfect time to do it.  


Draugr are powerful undead creatures of former warriors under a powerful curse. Typically, they are cursed to guard a large treasure or powerful tomb of a lord or king. However, it is said that the curse would not take hold if there was not already some evil in their hearts. 

The process of creating a draugr involves dark necromancy and the ritual sacrifice of warriors of at least 7th level of experience. 

They are sacrificed and their corpses are dumped into whatever burial pit or hole they are set to guard.

MOVE: 24" 
HIT DICE: 8+16 (52 hp)
% IN LAIR: 100%
NO. OF ATTACKS: 2 weapons or touch
DAMAGE/ATTACK: 1d8+3, 1d8+3
SPECIAL ATTACKS: Constitution Drain
SPECIAL DEFENSES: +2 or better weapon to hit
ALIGNMENT: Chaotic Evil
SIZE: M (6' at shoulder)

Draugr are undead warriors of exceptional ability and strength placed under a curse. They are set to guard some larger treasure of a powerful lord or chieftain.  Typically 1 to 3 draugr are found per tomb along with the treasures of their lord.  Disturbing the tomb will cause the draugr to attack. 

The creatures attack with a sword twice per round. They add +3 to each attack due to high strength. They can as an option, touch an opponent and drain one (1) point of Constitution per successful touch attack. Victims drained to 0 Constitution become wights under the control of the draugr that drained them. Lost Constitution points can be restored at the rate of 1 point per week of bed rest or via any magic that can restore lost levels. 

Draugr can only be hit by magic, +2 weapons, or better weapons. They turn as Vampires. They are harmed by holy water and cannot enter sanctified or holy ground save for where they were buried. They are not harmed 

If the draugr's treasure is taken and the draugr is not completely destroyed it will hunt down every piece of it down to the last copper piece. The only way to completely destroy a draugr is to burn its remains to ash.  


RPG Blog Carnival

#Dungeon23 Tomb of the Vampire Queen, Level 10, Room 30

 Past the mummies this tomb continues on. There is a double door ahead made of iron. A thief can unlock it but will require three separate open locks rolls. The locks can also be opened with a knock spell on each one.

If a thief does open all three locks there is a spring trap. If it is not discovered it will trip and cause a 1d4+2 hp of damage. No poison though, that it not the danger of this trap.

Beyond the doors lie in wait the Vampire Queen's honor guard.

Room 30

There are five total vampires but the number ready to attack will depend on the amount of hp lost by the trap. One vampire will awaken for each point of hp lost. So a minimum of 3 and maximum of 5.  Any not awake the first round will awaken the second round.

These vampires have been in slumber since the Vampire Queen constructed this tomb from the former dwarven kingdom. They are fiercely loyal and ravenously hungry.

Two have 7 HD, two have 8 HD, and their leader has 9 HD.  All have plate mail +2 and carry long swords +2. They have standard vampire abilities. Due to their hunger, they attack at an additional +1, and their AC has a penalty of -1 to AC. Total mods are +3 bonus to hit and +1 bonus to AC. 

They are not spellcasters and even if they were they are far too hungry here to use spells.

These vampires will not talk to the characters but they will communicate with each other in their own language (not a "vampire" language, but what they spoke before turned).

The vampires have twice the normal amount of treasure. 

The leader has a large iron key for a door at the end of this tomb.

Monday, October 23, 2023

October Horror Movie Challenge: Lost Boys (1987)

I talked about this one a bit back when I reviewed Near Dark.  I have to admit that this is the movie I first thought of when I saw that Best Soundtrack was a category.

Lost Boys (1987)

Ok. So I did do this one back in 2014. A lot, if not all, of what I said then still hold true. The movie holds well. Yeah there is some fast and loose play with the rules of vampirism here, but honestly it is still a great film.

Let's talk about that soundtrack.

There are so many great hits here. Many are covers, but for some reason it works fine. 

We have Roger Daltrey of the Who singing Elton John's "Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me," and for the longest time, I preferred this version. I was on a big Who kick then.

INXS practically made this one of their unofficial albums and I think added to their success of Kick, also out in 1987. Their song  "Good Times" was a cover of a 1960s song. 

The big covers were Echo and the Bunnymen's cover of The Door's "People are Strange," which gave the Doors some newfound fans in my generation (yes, we knew about them before). And the big one, Tim Capello's cover of The Call's "I Still Beleive."  Tim Capello is still out there touring, too, and I guess he is like one of the chillest guys ever. 

The original songs include the "title song" "Lost in the Shadows (The Lost Boys)" by Lou Gramm, and the real title song, "Cry Little Sister (Theme from The Lost Boys)" by Gerard McMann.  

I have a lot of really fond memories of this album that coincide with my freshman year in college.  It is the soundtrack I'd put to write vampire material. Kinda wish I still had some of that stuff. It might not have been (it wasn't, I am sure), but for nostalgia value.

October Horror Movie Challenge 2023
Viewed: 27
First Time Views: 17

31 Days of Halloween Movie Challenge

Friday, October 20, 2023

October Horror Movie Challenge: Near Dark (1987)

Near Dark (1987)
Tonight is Monstrous Bloodsuckers. They might not be too monstrous, but opted to rewatch 1987's Near Dark.  Now 1987 was a great year for Vampire movies. We first got Lost Boys (which could be a contender for Best Soundtrack) and Near Dark. Lost Boys outshined Near Dark in the press and box office, but horror fans knew what a treat it was.

Near Dark (1987)

Again. This is one of those movies I assume anyone reading this blog has seen.  A group of vampires is terrorizing a town with the B-Team from Aliens (Lance Henriksen, Bill Paxton, and Jenette Goldstein) with new recruit Mae (Jenny Wright). Mae turns Caleb (a very young-looking Adrian Pasdar) and convinces her vampire family not to kill him. Their leader Jesse (Henriksen) agrees to give him a week.

Things seem ok until they expect Caleb to kill, which he won't. Mae feeds him from her own wrists, which isn't helping either of them. Caleb escapes and get back home where his father performs a blood transfusion on him which cures him (I admit, I never liked this part at all). 

The vampire family goes searching for them with Homer, an ancient vampire in a child's body, runs into Caleb's sister Sarah.  A fight ensues between Caleb and vampires with them getting picked off one by one. Their death scenes due to burning and sunlight are still just as gruesome today.

At the end of the movie they give Mae the transfusion and it cures her.

Ok so the transfusion thing still bugs me. A lot. This whole thing was one of the main reasons why I made curing a vampire so difficult in my games. Hell, I only in 2017 relented to allow it to be done via a ritual. In fact, it was a vampire character I made at the very tail end of 1987 that I would later revive as a human in 2017.

Both Lost Boys and Near Dark played with the vampire legend. At the time it was revolutionary feeling, but now it is what is expected. These movies set that ground.

October Horror Movie Challenge 2023
Viewed: 24
First Time Views: 15

31 Days of Halloween Movie Challenge

Sunday, October 15, 2023

October Horror Movie Challenge: We Are the Night (2010) & Bit (2019)

We Are the Night (2010)
Tonight's movie choices cover both "We Are the Weirdos Mister" and "Pretty Blood Suckers."

Both are vampire movies featuring a group of women vampires in worlds where male vampires are not welcome. 

Both movies had a solid "Lost Boys" meets "The Craft" vibe.

We Are the Night (2010) 

A German flick originally titled "Wir sind die Nacht" focuses on street thief Lena (played by Karoline Herfurth) who pickpockets a Russian pimp being watched by the police, in particular Tom, played by Sense8's Max Riemelt. Lena stumbles onto a rave and is spotted by vampire Louise (who we saw in the opening, killing an entire plane of people) and her vampire friends Charlotte and Nora.  Lena is bitten by Louise and spends the next day transforming into a vampire herself.

Lena seeks them out, angry about what they have done to her, and they drag her to the Russian pimps where he hunger takes over and she kills and feeds on the pimps.  Awash with power Lena begins to enjoy her vampire existence. Shopping, driving fast cars, walking on walls, and learning the rules of being a vampire. The big ones are sunlight can kill them and never turn a man. All the male vampires were killed years ago because of all the trouble they caused. 

Still investigating the pimps, and now their murders, is cop Tom. He met Lena before, and knows she is connected somehow. 

The cops connect the murders of the pimp to the women, not knowing they are vampires.  They go in to arrest them and are of course they are wiped out. Tom sees Lena and keeps following her. Nora is killed. They get to a safe house but Louise locks them in so she can die in the sun. Lena and Charlotte fight it out over Tom. Lena manages to kill Charlotte, but not before she shoots Tom.  The movie ends and we suspect that Lena turned him.

Not a bad flick really. Lots of scenes of Lena and her new vampire family enjoying their new powers and lots of feeding on people. What you want in a vampire movie really. 

Bit (2019)
Bit (2019)

This one is newer and follows a similar formula. This time we have Laurel played by Supergirl actress Nicole Maines. A girl from Oregon visiting her brother in LA. Her first night in town she gets invited to an after-hours party and is bit by vampire Izzy (Zolee Griggs) a member of Duke's (Diana Hopper) vampire group (Roya and Frog). Again we learn that they are never supposed to turn men into vampires. They spend their time killing various rapists, internet shitlords, and other assholes. 

We do learn there is at least still one male vampire, Vlad Castaneda, known as the Master. We get a flashback of Duke back when she was turned in the 1970s by Vlad. Side note, I love the 70s and 80s sequences. Honestly, by the end of the first half you are rooting for the vampires here.

Laurel feeds on a guy trying to kill Duke's coven, but doesn't feed again. 

This comes to a head when upset her friend from home Andy tries to kill himself, she feeds on her brother. Heading back to Duke she tries to get them to help her which they wont.  So she releases the first bride who then revives the Master. We learn that Duke had been using the Master's power to subtly influence the other girls. The Master then rips out Duke's heart. Laurel comes back and sets the Master on fire and the other girls (Izzy, Rora, and Frog) chip in. They kill the Master and put Duke into the hole. 

I am glad to see Nicole Maines in something other than Supergirl. She is a good actress and I am looking forward to seeing her in more. 

Both movies were fun and it leads me to think there might be more in this genre.

October Horror Movie Challenge 2023
Viewed: 19
First Time Views: 12

31 Days of Halloween Movie Challenge

Friday, October 13, 2023

October Horror Movie Challenge: El Conde (2023)

El Conde
 Tonight's movie theme is "Inspired by True Events."  Typically this means a haunting or a local cryptid. But tonight I opted for something a little different.  

El Conde (2023)

So. Here is the premise of this one. Vampire Augusto Pinochet (yes. THAT Pinochet) is old and tired of living. So he has stopped feeding and has invited his five adult children to his hideout to pass on what is left of his wealth and die.

The trouble is no one trusts anyone else. His butler is having an affair with Pinochet's wife. She wants to become a vampire but Pinochet won't bite her. His children are greedy and are convinced their father is feeding again. 

One of his daughters has secretly hired a Nun to perform an exorcism on Pinochet. This nun, Carmen (played by Paula Luchsinger) is also a mathematical genius and comes to the estate under the guise of finding the lost money and properties of Augusto Pinochet. Trouble is Pinochet is falling in love with Carmen. So Pinochet begins to feed again.

All the while we hear the narration of the story from an English woman who seems to have some background with Pinochet. We learn near the end she is Margaret Thatcher and she is Pinochet's mother.

Carmen tries to exorcise Pinochet but fails. Instead, she falls prey to him and is turned. Which she seems to enjoy. The Butler turns his wife and Magaret Thatcher shows up to tell us what her part is in all of this.

The butler kills Carmen. Pinochet kills the butler and his wife. They eat the hearts of the three vampires and they become young again. Pinochet's children leave the island with what ever they can salvage from the home, not knowing that the real treasure was in his collection of rare books.

Not 100% sure what to make of this one. Strange flick, but it kept me engaged.

October Horror Movie Challenge 2023
Viewed: 16
First Time Views: 9

31 Days of Halloween Movie Challenge

Thursday, October 12, 2023

October Horror Movie Challenge: BloodRayne (2005, 2007)

I have been playing a lot of Baldur's Gate 3 with my oldest recently and it has been an absolute blast. We are having the best time. He asked me one night what was the last video game I had enjoyed as much as this. A few came to mind, but I had to say the first BloodRayne PC Game I played in the early 2000s. He asked if I still had it and I told him not my originals (no idea what happened to them) but I did have the "updated" versions that came with the the two Uwe Boll movies. That got us talking about the movies and Uwe Boll...and here we are. I checked at found it odd that I had not watched them for my October Horror Movie Marathon before. Well. I had, but never here, save for the third movie

So. Let me correct that.  I am pulling the wild card and taking "Video Game Movie" today.

BloodRayne 1 & 2
Yes. I own both of these.

BloodRayne (2005)
BloodRayne (2005)

This one stars Kristanna Loken as the titular dhampir Rayne. Ok. Let's get to this right now. This is an Uwe Boll movie. Don't expect much. BUT along the way I discovered the secret of Uwe Boll. They guy is not Spielberg, or Scorsese, or even Corman. He is though a guy that likes to have a movie with a lot of over-the-top violence to level of cartoon and maybe tell a fun story. Once you get that, settle in with some corn and enjoy.

Ok Kristanna Loken has the right look to be honest so I can buy into her as Rayne. The story is similar enough to the video game with some interesting details. First Rayne is not yet the bad ass she is in the game. Secondly instead of this taking place in modern-day America and Europe, it is in Easter Europe of the 18th Century. Ok. Honestly, I am cool with that.  Ben Kingsley plays the master Vampire Kagan in only what can be described as "I got bills to pay too."  Michael Madsen is here playing Michael Madsen. Michelle Rodriguez is also here because I think her and Loken were a thing at the time. But none of that matters because we also get some great cameos. Bill Zane is here at his Billy Zaniest. I am guessing his request was "can I play an arrogant count?" Udo Kier is here, because...well why not, I mean if you need a creepy priest member of a secret cabal dedicated to stopping vampires and Mads Mikkelsen is busy. And Meat Loaf (credited as "Meat Loaf Aday") here as a vampire count. I am guessing his request was "I want to be a pompous vampire lord. Oh. and I want 6 or 7 naked women in bed with me."

Surprisingly, even given the game, there is not a lot of gratuitous nudity (save for the above-mentioned scene) here. Lots and lots of gratuitous violence and lots of fake blood everywhere. Hell. The last 10 minutes is just a slow-mo super cut of grisly deaths from the movie. 

The story is simple. Rayne is a dhampir. Her vampire father Kagan wants to rule the world. He wants the relics of Beliar (here a super vampire, in the game a demon) to become unstoppable. The Brimstone society is hunting them both. 

Don't go looking for a bigger plot than that. 

BloodRayne 2: Deliverance (2007)
BloodRayne 2: Deliverance (2007)

Up next is BloodRayne II. Also from Boll. But this time our heroine is played by former model-turned-actress Natassia Malthe.  Now set in the 19th century and headed out to the American West. Rayne must stop the most dangerous vampire on the American frontier. Billy the Kid. Played by Zack Ward.  Because let's be honest here. When the casting director gets request for Vampire Billy the Kid the list likely begins or ends with Zack Ward. Since Michael Madsen's character died in the last one we go to the next name on the list and bring in Michael Paré. I'll be honest here. They sold me on it. Yeah. 

Would I have bought this DVD if it didn't have the PC game included? Probably not, but I am glad I did because like the 1st and 3rd movies it was just a lot of over the top blood and gore and silly fun.

But also like the other two in the "BloodRayne Trilogy" (that's right. That's what I am calling it!) there is a kernel of a good idea here.

Vampires wanting to take over Eastern Europe with the power of a near-mythical relic? Great!

Vampires wanting to take over the American frontier with an army of vampires? Yeeh hah!

Vampires wanting make a race of immortal vampire Nazis? Sure!

I mean the execution leaves some to be desired, but that is fine really. 

Natassia Malthe is not as good as Kristanna Loken (now there is a sentence you don't get to type a lot) but no one here is winning awards for acting and honestly, Rayne is a video game character.

Like I have said before. This is a slider, don't pretend it is steak.

As far as I can tell. The "Unrated" bits are largely due to blood and violence.


Since my kid and I talked about these I figure I might as well have some fun. So here is my Rayne for Baldur's Gate 3.

Rayne for Baldur's Gate 3

Right now a dual-wielding Ranger. Yes. Those are katanas. If you are going to cheese, go extra cheesy. I even know a place in the game where I can get her eye replaced with a magical one, just like the first video game (and first movie). I'll do some more with her, give her some levels in Rogue (Assassin) and maybe some undead fighting buffs. Perfect for when I take on the vampires in Act 3!

There are solid connections here. Laura Bailey was the voice for Rayne in the video game and now is better known for her Critical Role participation (Vex, Jester).  And Michelle Rodriguez was in the first movie and the D&D movie, playing more or less the same character.

October Horror Movie Challenge 2023
Viewed: 15
First Time Views: 8

31 Days of Halloween Movie Challenge

Sunday, October 8, 2023

October Horror Movie Challenge: Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948)

Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948)
 I was talking to my wife about tonight's theme, Horror Comedy, and how I wasn't quite in the mood for that. I wanted to watch Pet Sematary again before the new Paramount channel series. Talking with my wife she asked if I had ever reviewed Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein, a movie she knew I loved. As it turns out, Amazon Prime has it.

Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948)

This movie is an old one. So instead of going over it detail (I mean, everyone has seen this one right?) let's talk about what it has going on.

Béla Lugosi is back as Dracula, a role he has been playing at this point for 20 years. This was one of his last major roles before his alcohol and drug addiction made getting roles more difficult. He also was very typecast at this point. I always liked him in this role and I think this is one of the first depictions of Dracula as a mad scientist. Something that would become more prevalent later on.

Lon Chaney Jr. is also back as Lawrence Talbot / The Wolf Man. This role I think really was the first time it sold me on the idea of lycanthropy as a curse. This movie was also one of the many of the Frankenstein-Dracula-Wolfman crossovers of the last four or so years. Were these the origin of the Vampires vs. Werewolves in the movies? Maybe.  This was also the last appearance of the Wolf Man in the Universal Studios movies.

Lenore Aubert plays Sandra Mornay, our mad scientist. She is the one bringing Frankenstein's monster back to left and just needs Lou Costello's brain to do it. Fairly progressive for 1948.

This movie also has a special guest at the end, Vincent Price as the voice of the Invisible Man. A nice start to his career in horror.

The movie is fun. It was one of the first "monster movies" I can remember watching with my dad.

October Horror Movie Challenge 2023
Viewed: 9
First Time Views: 3

31 Days of Halloween Movie Challenge

#Dungeon23 Tomb of the Vampire Queen, Level 10, Room 8

 Moving past the area where the Ankou and his undead cows are "grazing," the party will encounter three wandering vampire girls. They look young but are many centuries old. 

Room 8

They will claim to be thralls of the Vampire Queen and want to help the party. 

In truth, it is far simpler. They were thralls and now they are bored. They come back here because they are still drawn to their Queen.

They have no idea if the Queen is living or dead. They have not been able to get below this level. They will try to strike up a bargain with the party to get to the lower levels. They have no idea how to get to lower levels, nor even what is there. 

They have every intention of killing the party as soon as they can.

Saturday, October 7, 2023

October Horror Movie Challenge: Night Teeth (2021)

Night Teeth (2021)
Teen Angst. Yeah, that covers a lot of Horror Movies, but nothing I was in the mood for tonight. So I checked the Teen Horror Halloween movies and found this one. Looked fun.

The voiceover in the beginning informs us that humans and vampires have had a truce for years. 

We see 

Benny (Jorge Lendeborg Jr.) is a driver...well, not really, he is subbing in for his brother Jay, and he is hired to drive around two young socialites, Blaire (former Disney kid Debby Ryan) and Zoe (Lucy Fry, playing her second Vampire).  The girls have a list of parties they want to hit and the last one has to be reached before morning.

Blaire and Zoe are vampires going on a killing spree, killing people against the truce.  Beeny discovers this and soon discovers that the cops are going to be no help to him. 

We learn they are working Victor (who also grabbed Jay's girlfriend in the beginning) killing everyone in Eva (Sydney Sweeney) and Grace (Megan Fox) network. Jay is a vampire hunter who was supposed to help them, but Jay wouldn't help.

The girls go through LA killing vampire bosses, dragging Benny with them. 

Jay confronts Victor to kill him, but Victor already had his girlfriend Maria killed. 

At the last stop Zoe is shot with a crossbow so they go to Victor's.  Knowing he is about to be killed Beeny crashes the car into the house, killing Zoe with sunlight. Jay tackles Victor but not before Benny is bitten.

Benny, dying is given some blood from Blaire. At first it looks like maybe Benny isn't a vampire, but when he is later picked up by Blaire you can see his fangs.


So not a bad flick really. Certainly, part of the modern Vampire mythos of vampires as the rich and powerful. Other recent examples include Day Shift (2022) and go back to the Blade and Underworld movies. Sure it has been part of Vampire myths for a while, with the prime example coming from the Anne Rice books.  This newest crop also features organized and funded (though not as well as the vampires) vampire hunters.

This one wasn't very "Teen" but still a fun flick. It was great seeing Debby Ryan in something other than a Disney series (I had little kids back then). 

October Horror Movie Challenge 2023
Viewed: 8
First Time Views: 3

31 Days of Halloween Movie Challenge

Friday, October 6, 2023

October Horror Movie Challenge: The House That Dripped Blood (1971)

The House that Dripped Blood (1971)
 This one has been on my mind a lot lately, and when I saw that today's movie was Anthology (and I rechecked!) I knew I was going to pull this one out. It has been years since I have seen this.

The House That Dripped Blood (1971)

Vampires, Witches! Psycho killers, Weird waxworks! Peter Cushing! Christopher Lee! Ingrid Pitt! and Jon Pertwee? Ok. What sort of alternate universe Hammer film has all of these Hammer Horror mainstays in it?'s not a Hammer film, but rather by Amicus Productions. Or the Hammer that Americans made while in England. I am not trying to dismiss Amicus, but that is a good way to describe them.  This might be one of their best in a genre they were pretty well known for.  

This is movie is a classic for many reasons. You can see it's DNA in everything from the Horror anthology shows of the 1980s, especially one like Friday the 13th the Series to the American Horror Story season Murder House. 

There are four stories of goings-on in the house, each leading to murder and death with the framing story of a missing actor Paul Henderson, played over the top by Jon "The Third Doctor" Pertwee either when he just got the Doctor Who role or just before it.

I could go over all four stories, but you can read about them anywhere, instead, I want to talk about the movie as a whole.

First off we do not get Cushing, Lee, and Pitt in the same scenes, which is a freaking crime, really. Each one is in their own tale.  

Secondly. The movie is worth watching just for this scene alone.

Pertwee and Pitt

Robert Bloch wrote the movie screenplay, but the individual stories came from various Pulp-era magazines like Wierd Tales and Unknown. So if these feel like, say Creepshow the Movie or Tales from the Crypt there is good reason.

A few other points. "Sweets for the Sweet" is one with Christopher Lee and features the cutest little witch this side of Wendy the Witch. Reminded me a little of the Twilight Zone episode The Most Toys. 

Watching this and knowing Pertwee was in it I thought about Peter Cushing's role as "Dr. Who" and thought we really, really needed a movie with his Doctor and Christopher Lee as the Master. Typecasting? Maybe, but I would have loved it.

I am pretty sure I have seen this house in other movies.

Pertwee commented on Dracula and how he like Lugosi but not "the new guy" who of course was Lee.

The owner of the house was "A.J. Stoker" something that even Pertwee's character remarks on.

This was a fun flick. Not a scary one, but a foundational one for any horror buff.

October Horror Movie Challenge 2023
Viewed: 7
First Time Views: 2

31 Days of Halloween Movie Challenge

Sunday, October 1, 2023

October Horror Movie Challenge: Beber de tu Sangre (2020)

Beber de tu Sangre (2020)
 Let's get started!  My first movie of this 2023 October Challenge with a First Time Watch. My plan for this year was to watch nothing but Spanish-language movies this year to improve my Spanish.  I still might, but tonight's choice has me rethinking this. First, my grasp of Spanish is good and getting better, but not where I wanted it to be.  Secondly, tonight's movie was a bit dull.

Beber de tu Sangre (2020)

Beber de tu Sangre, or "Drink Your Blood" and called "Violent Delights" in English is a Mexican movie about vampires. I had pretty high expectations here for my first. Many of the movies from Mexico I have really enjoyed. This one also could be a stand-in for "Best Gratuitous Nudity." 

The plot, at least as far as I can tell is "What if you took the two couples from the first few minutes of The Hunger were given their own movie. Well...not exactly but the vibe is right.  Our couples are  Lizeth and Javier (human) and Alani and Gabriel (vampire).  These are not your typical vampires though as Alani wants a baby.

There is a weird sexual dynamic between the four with plenty of gratuitous nudity and sex, some weird vampire-like stuff. 

I can't tell if they wanted to do "The Hunger" or "The Last Lovers Left Alive" sort of avant-garde vampire movie or what they were looking for. 

Still, the worst part here is that the plot is all over the place, and in the end it goes nowhere.

Ah well. Still, I am going to get to some more Spanish movies this year for sure.

October Horror Movie Challenge 2023
Viewed: 1
First Time Views: 1

31 Days of Halloween Movie Challenge

Sunday, September 17, 2023

#Dungeon23 Tomb of the Vampire Queen, Level 9, Room 17

 Going down the hall another 50 feet there is another set of double doors on either side. The doors on the left are locked. As before there are three separate locks that need to be opened in the proper order.

The top, the lower left then the lower right. This can be figured out with divination magic or by making three successful Find Traps rolls. Inside this room is a coffin on a dais. There is a desk and many books about vampires.  Inside the coffin there is a vampire chained down with silver chains. 

Room 17

The vampire has been experimented on for centuries. The tomes nearby detail every experiment done. Whoever was doing this was looking for a way to make vampires even more powerful. 

This vampire was a failure.

After a few minutes, the vampire will stir and then begin to scream.  The vampire begs the party to kill him.

Killing the vampire is not difficult. He is completely immobile, so no rolls to hit are needed, and the vampire only has 6 hp. A wooden stake will end him.

If the vampire is released then he will attack the party for blood. 


GMs should not grant full XP for killing this vampire. But XP can be given for finding and reading the vampire books.

Friday, August 4, 2023

Kickstart Your Weekend - The Beast & Snow #1

 I wasn't going to promote any Kickstarters for a bit after a month of doing nothing but Wasted Lands, but this one came up and I couldn't say no.

The Beast & Snow #1 - NSFW Queer Fairytale Romance

The Beast & Snow #1 - NSFW Queer Fairytale Romance

Revision fairy tales? Vampires? Strong female leads? Kat Calamia and Phil Falco? Dorilys Giacchetto cover? Liana Kangas cover? Stjepan Sejic cover?!

Sign me up! No need, I did that myself.

Ok so this looks like a lot of fun and I am getting a strong "Carmilla" and "Vampyres" vibe from this. 

The art looks great and the story should be great from what little bit I can gather here.  They are just missing a witch from being perfect! (I am nothing if not consistent.)

And if you think I am NOT doing versions of these characters for my home game using my Monster Mash rules then you don't know me or this blog very well. 

They have met their funding and unlocked their first stretch goal. Looks like they might need more stretch goals at this rate!

But seriously, this looks like a lot of fun and I hope there are a lot of issues in this series. 

Wednesday, April 26, 2023

#AtoZChallenge2023: Doctor Who Vampires

#AtoZChallenge2023: Doctor Who Vampires
The Doctor: Do you know, it just occurs to me there are vampire legends on almost every inhabited planet.
Romana: Really?
The Doctor: Yes.

- The Fourth Doctor and Romana II, "State of Decay"

Honestly, it would not be an April A to Z V-Day if I didn't do Vampires, and Doctor Who is no different. You might think a sci-fi family show would not have much to do with Vampires, but it does, and they are part of the show's history.

State of Decay

The first use of vampires was the later Tom Baker story from the Fourth Doctor era, "State of Decay." The Doctor and Romana had fallen into a CVE, or a hole in the universe into another universe (E-Space). 

Here we get the background on vampires in the Doctor Who universe. Long ago in even the ancient times of Gallifrey the Time Lords, led by Rassilon, fought the great Vampires. These creatures were huge (maybe related to the Dæmons as some of the books say) and they "swarmed" across the cosmos draining entire worlds. Rassilon invented the "bow ships" to impale them on a massive spike of steel, the only way to truly kill them. The time Lord destroyed them all except for their leader, the Great Vampire. The Doctor, Romana, and Adric find them in E-Space. Here three human explorers from Earth got trapped in E-Space and began to feed the Great Vampire. It has taken thousands of years to restore him, but the Doctor manages to destroy him once and for all.

One of the vampire humans in this story, Camilla, was obviously named after Sheridan Le Fanu's "Carmilla." Likewise, Camilla shows more than a casual interest in Romana II.

There is an implication here that Time Lords and Vampires share a long history, maybe even before their war.  The various novels in the "New Adventures" series expanded on this.  

Doctor Who Vampire books

I watched "State of Decay" for my October Horror Movie Marathon a while back. I don't have the DVD, but as part of the Tom Baker Season 18 Blu-Ray.

The whole episode was a huge homage to Hammer Horror, much like The Brain of Morbius was.

The Curse of Fenric

This story from the 7th Doctor era is also a favorite of mine. In the far future when the Earth is a toxic dump, it is the home of the Haemovores or mutated humans that needed the blood of others to survive. They could pass on their mutation to others, turning them into vampire-like creatures. They were not undead, like the human-turned-vampires of the Great Vampires, but shared many of the same features.  They were, for example, very suspectable to psychic attacks and a strong-willed human, even ones with no psychic ability, could keep them at bay.

I am uncertain if these creatures are related to the Great Vampires or not; it seems that they are not.

Smith and Jones

The first episode of David Tennant's 2nd season as the Doctor introduces us to Martha Jones and a Plasmavore, a type of vampire-like alien that feeds on blood. This creature is another variation on the vampire theme but has no relationship (as far as I know) to the Great Vampires or even the Haemovores.  Though they do seem more closely related to the Haemovores in their need for the salt content in their victims' blood.

Vampires of Venice

A run with the 11th Doctor exposes Amy and Rory to the Saturnyn, another type of vampire (sexy fish vampires, according to the Doctor). They could live off of the water content in people's blood. They could make humans into their own species by replacing all their blood. 

Fish Vampires

The Saturnyn lost their homeworld due to the cracks in the Universe (caused by the Doctor's exploding TARDIS in the future) and "the Silence" a major plot point for this season.

We will likely see more vampires in the future, hopefully going back to the original Great Vampires. 

A to Z of Doctor Who

All images (expect for personal ones) are used with permission from the BBC and are copyrighted 2023 by the BBC.

Friday, March 24, 2023

Kickstart Your Weekend: My Last Sunrise 2 - Women of Horror

A late entry today; really busy at work.

My Last Sunrise 2 - Women of Horror - 28mm Minis for TTRPG

My Last Sunrise 2 - Women of Horror - 28mm Minis for TTRPG

I like these minis, they have a really cool Hammer Horror vibe to them.

So much great stuff here I can't decide what level to pledge at!

I should at least get a Vampire Queen right.

Monday, January 23, 2023

Monstrous Monday: Monster Mash

We have all seen the new proposed OGL. Honestly it looks like publishing under the OGL 1.0a  will soon be over, at least how it has been.  So, what am I do to with three separate monster-related projects?

Simple. I combine what I can and try to get something ready to go.

Here are the efforts of that.

Monster Mash

Monster Mash

Here, there be Monsters!

For years brave adventures have been going into dark dungeons and fighting monsters. Now the monsters are fighting back.

Monster Mash is an Old-School Essentials Classic Fantasy compatible game supplement that allows you to take on the role not of a stalwart hero but as one of the monsters.

This book features 13 horror-based classes.

The Awakened Golem, Cat Folk, Ghosts, Haglings, Hobgoblins, Revenants, Shadow Elves, Shades, Werewolves, Wererats, Vampires, Profane Necromancers, and the Gothic Witch.

New spells for Haglings, Profane Necromancers, Shadow Elves, and Gothic Witches.
New occult powers ritual spells for Gothic Witches.

Fully compatible with Old-School Essentials and other Basic-Era games.
Fully compatible with other witch books from The Other Side.

Requires Old-School Essentials Core Rules.


I put in a lot of the art I was going to use for this, Monstrous Maleficarum and the Basic Bestiaries.  I had wanted to get this out for Halloween (naturally) but I had a lot going on.

Now I would LOVE to get a couple more of these out. I have nearly everything I need; I just have to put everything together. 

Will this be my last publication for OSE? I certainly hope not.

Tuesday, December 27, 2022

Christmas Call: 2022

Hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas who celebrates. 

Around here, we give (and receive) a lot of geeky gifts, thought I might show off a few.

Dungeons & Dragons Trivial Pursuit

I got the new Dungeons & Dragons Trivial Pursuit game.  No idea what is in it, but we might be playing it this New Year's Eve.  OR maybe I'll just read the questions and quiz myself.

Vaesen: Mythic Britain & Ireland

Victorian? Horror monsters? England and Ireland? Yes, please!  Got this from my oldest.  My youngest printed off a bunch of demons and devils for me on their 3D printers too.  Expect a review for this one!


My oldest ended up with multiple copies of the new Dragonlance book. So I got this one! ;)

SJG Undead

AND after 40 years, I finally got a copy of Steve Jackson Games' Undead!

I am planning a larger review of it, and it's counterpart from TSR, Vampyre.

Undead and Vampyre Mini-games

Both mini-games deal with the hunt for Dracula. So looking forward to playing them both and seeing how they compare. 

I should also point out one other gift.

Photo rig

My wife got me a new photo rig for taking all these pictures.

Still experimenting with lighting, angles, and settings. You will see all the results here.  All the pictures above were taken using this. I even have a spare phone I could use as a permanent mount if I desire.